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More than 2 Types of Diabetes

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More Than Two Types of Diabetes?

More Than Two Types of Diabetes?

More Than Two Types of Diabetes?

For the past 20 years diabetes has always been classified as either type 1 or type 2, but new revelations show that there could actually be five different types.  New research such as one found in an article out of The Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology suggests a need for a revision to the diabetes classification system.  According to the article, despite experts expressing a need for it, not much emphasis has been given in the expansion of classifications for specific diabetic causes and severity levels.

Diabetes seems to be the fastest growing disease worldwide and known treatments don’t seem to be slowing it down or preventing long-term complications in many patients.  One possible reason is that diabetes is diagnosed based on one factor, how glucose is metabolized, but upon closer observation it is much more complex.  Today, diabetes is classified mainly by age of diagnosis, with younger patients usually having type 1, and on whether there are antibodies or not that attack beta cells which release insulin. Those with Type 1 cannot make their own insulin while those with type 2 can produce insulin but fail to utilize it properly.

New Subgroups for Diabetes.

It has been determined that between 75% and 85% of people with diabetes are classified as type 2, recently a third subgroup has been identified in recent studies known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).  Researchers from the University of Gothenberg and Lund University in Sweden are now claiming that additional subgroups are necessary.  To illustrate their claim they studied medical data from almost 15,000 Swedish people with type 2 diabetes and focused on not one but six factors that were documented at time of diagnosis.

  • Age
  • Body Mass Index
  • Presence of beta-cell antibodies
  • Metabolic control levels
  • Beta-cell activity
  • Insulin resistance

From this breakdown of data, five groups with considerably different characteristics emerge.

  • Severe Insulin-Resistant Diabetes (SIRD)Highest levels of insulin resistance  and highest risk of diabetic kidney disease.
  • Severe Insulin-Deficient Diabetes (SIDD)Mostly young adults with very poor metabolic control.
  • Severe Autoimmune Diabetes (SAD)Huge overlap with current type 1 diagnosis.
  • Mild Age-Related Diabetes (MARD) & Mild Obesity-Related Diabetes (MOD)Seemingly more benign forms of diabetes.

These new classifications could help distinguish high-risk patients and help doctors in prescribing more efficient treatments.  It can also be helpful to both newly diagnosed patients as well as those who have had type 2 diabetes for a long time.  Finally, it is not yet certain whether patients can move between these categories over time or if there are other factors that can further elaborate these sub-types of diabetes even further.  More in-depth studies are necessary, but it is clear that using several different factors to form a more specific diagnosis is a step in the right direction.

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A Healthy Social Life Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

A Healthy Social Life Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

A Healthy Social Life Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

Studies over at Maastricht University in the Netherlands have shown a link between healthy social ties and it’s influence over mental and physical health.  Being socially active can actually reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes according to this study published in the BMC Public Health journal.

Study co-author Dr. Miranda Schram explains, “High-risk groups for type 2 diabetes should broaden their network and should be encouraged to make new friends, as well as become members of a club, such as a volunteer organization, sports club, or discussion group.  Men living alone seem to be at a higher risk for the development of type 2 diabetes, they should become recognized as a high-risk group in healthcare. In addition, social network size and participation in social activities may eventually be used as indicators of diabetes risk.”

Who Participated?

Medical data from 2,861 patients between 40 and 75 years of age were studied in The Maastricht Study, a research observing genetic and environmental risk factors  in the development of type 2 diabetes.  1,623 of these patients did not have diabetes, 430 did have prediabetes, 111 had recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and 697 had pre-existing diabetes.


A correlation was found between the patient’s sociability and how likely they were diagnosed with diabetes, which led researchers to this potential link.  The research team found participants who did not partake in group activities or associate with any social circles had a 60% higher risk of having pre-diabetes.  Women who did not participate in social activities were 112% more likely to have type 2 diabetes, while the men had a 42% higher chance.  Loss of friends or acquaintances also had a significant effect on developing type 2 diabetes, with each loss constituting a 12% increase in the chances of newly diagnosed diabetes.  Men living alone were found to have a 59% higher risk of pre-diabetes, 84% higher chance of recently diagnosed diabetes, and a 94% higher risk of a pre-existing diagnosis of diabetes.  Finally, no links were found in cases in where women lived alone.

Cause and Effect

Although these findings are interesting, researchers note that the cause & effects found in this study can be reversed either way.  It may be that early pre-diabetic symptoms are the cause of low motivations to engage in social activities and not the other way around. “The study is cross-sectional in nature, and therefore, the possibility of reverse causality cannot be excluded,” researchers warn.

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If already diagnosed see here for diabetic supplies, we also work with Medicare.

Identifying Alzheimer’s before symptoms

Identifying Alzheimer’s before symptoms

Identifying Alzheimer’s before symptoms

New tests to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease are emerging, offering hope for new treatments and therapies.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the memory disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and more than 5 million people are currently living with the disease. In fact, for seniors, a third of all deaths stem from either Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Although there is no cure in sight, for now, every effort is being made to find a way to diagnose and treat this growing threat.

According to The Wall Street Journal, there is support for a new approach to how Alzheimer’s is identified in the population, and it could lead to dramatically earlier warnings of the disease and accelerate research. New approaches hope to discover the disease before symptoms ever present.

Like finding malignant cells in the body to find cancer or plaque buildup in the arteries for heart disease, the presence of amyloid and tau proteins could be the key to early identification. Previously, doctors could only see these proteins during an autopsy, but improved technology has allowed for these markers to be seen in living patients. These scans are sometimes used to rule out Alzheimer’s in patients with various cognitive issues.  Critics of the method agree that the process works to identify amyloid proteins but argue that there is no definitive way to predict whether or not the patient will actually develop symptoms.

Another test involves recognition of smells. One of the first things to decline is the ability to smell, which is associated with the first cranial nerve, according to WebMD.  Researchers have found the ability to smell differs between nostrils in Alzheimer’s patients but it is still too early to say definitively if this will be a diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s.

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The Medical Supplies Market is Expanding.

The Medical Supplies Market is Expanding.

Medical Supplies Markets Expanding

Market Research Future Report

According to Market Research Future, the global medical supplies market is growing exponentially and expected to reach $132 Billion by late 2022.  The primary cause of this massive growth is the rising population of geriatrics as well as increase in patients with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular & diabetes.  Leading this sales growth will be marginally invasive devices that deliver medicines, inhalation therapies, and dialysis products.

On a global scale, Americas region seems to be the largest market for medical supplies with Europe slowly catching up.  However, the Asian-Pacific market is due to grow at the fastest rate during the next five years.  Middle East & Africa region may have limited but consistent growth in this market.  Some key players include 3M Company (US), Medtronic plc (Ireland), B.Braun Melsungen AG (Germany), & Boston Scientific Corporation (US). Read more here.

Grand View Research Report

Another report from 2014 by Grand View Research, Inc. anticipates the market to reach $242.1 Billion by 2024.  Healthcare settings are on the rise due to government aid and public private partnerships.  This is expected to create higher demand for durable medical equipment and open up opportunities for consistent growth.  Home healthcare being a cost effective option is growing fast, due to the growing workforce within this field.  This in-turn leads to seeing more usage of these types of medical supplies in home healthcare settings.  The aforementioned geriatric population and the rising pervasiveness of chronic disease is expected to increase demand for durable medical equipment.  Other factors that contributed to market growth have included efficient reimbursement networks, elaborate health care systems, and prominent medical supply manufacturers. Read more here.


Artificial beta cells that release insulin in response to high blood sugar.

Artificial beta cells that release insulin in response to high blood sugar.

Artificial beta cells that release insulin in response to high blood sugar.

A major hurdle in the patient-friendly treatment of Diabetes is the need for efficient on-demand control of blood glucose levels.  Normal pancreatic cells do this naturally, so creating an insulin delivery system has been quite a challenge for researchers.

Insulin pills end up destroyed in digestive enzymes and acids making it an unviable option.  Pancreatic cell transplants are expensive, require donors, and drugs to prevent rejection.  Over six million people in the U.S. take insulin via injection or mechanical pump, meeting timely dosing needs and cost efficiency.

The researchers over at The University of North Carolina & NC State are now testing artificial beta cells (ABC’s) that release insulin when glucose levels rise.  These artificial beta cells take the place of normal beta cells in the pancreas that cause diabetes when they malfunction.

Blood glucose levels were kept normal for up to five days in diabetic mice when injected with these artificial cells.  Plans to optimize the cells to test on larger animals and eventually on humans is in the near future.  The aim is to develop a “smart” skin patch that infuses the cells subcutaneously, for a painless, convenient, and cost effective treatment for Diabetes.
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